Jeremy N. Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances, beginning April 1, 2019
Jeremy N. Geffen has been appointed as Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances beginning April 1, 2019. Geffen comes to Berkeley from Carnegie Hall, where he holds the position of Senior Director and Artistic Adviser. During his 12 years there, Geffen was instrumental in designing and directing visionary artistic projects, built deep and meaningful connections with artists and collaborators, cultivated community partnerships, and aided in the expansion of the organization's rich educational offerings. As part of Carnegie Hall's artistic planning team he led program planning and thematic development for the approximately 160 performances each season at Carnegie Hall, as well as the creation of a wide range of audience engagement programs. Geffen played a pivotal role in the expansion of Carnegie Hall festivals including this season’s concerts dedicated to the impact of large-scale migrations on American culture.
S. Shariq Yosufzai
Interim Executive Director of Cal Performances
S. Shariq Yosufzai serves as interim executive director of Cal Performances, as appointed by UCBerkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ. Passionate about the performing arts, he has been a vital member of Cal Performances' board of trustees since July 2014 and has served as a vice chair of theboard since July 2016. Yosufzai also serves as president of the board of directors of the Berkeley Symphony and as an executive committee member of the San Francisco Opera's board of directors. Previously he was on the board of directors and was chair of the corporate council of the Houston Grand Opera
In March 2018 Yosufzai retired from the Chevron Corporation, where he served as vice president of global diversity, a position he held since 2013, and in which he was responsible, in part, for Chevron's relationship with UC Berkeley. Over the course of his distinguished 43-year career at Chevron, Yosufzai has had significant experience in board membership and leadership, and in senior executive roles at publicly traded companies. He served as president of several Chevron global businesses and oversaw large, multinational operating companies in global markets including Asia, North America, Central and South America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
S. Shariq Yosufzai is the recipient of numerous business and nonprofit awards, including the 2017 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award from the Asian American Business DevelopmentCenter, and recognition as outstanding foreign-born leader by the World Affairs Council. He wasnamed on The Economist's Global Diversity List as one of the 2015 "Top 50 Diversity Professionalsin Business" in the world. Yosufzai earned a b achelor of s cience degree in chemical e ngineeringfrom Texas A&M University, which has recognized him as a Distinguished Alumnus, OutstandingInternational Alumnus, and Outstanding Engineering Alumnus.
Associate Director of Cal Performances
Rob Bailis joined Cal Performances as associate director in 2013. Bailis served as interim artistic director from July 2018 through March 2019, leading the artistic planning team in curating all Cal Performances productions and presentations. In his role as associate director, he was especially involved in the curation of the organization's dance and theater presentations, a position from which he worked closely with many of Cal Performances' most established and longstanding artistic partnerships, while also introducing a new generation of international talent to UC Berkeley stages. During his tenure, Bailis has been instrumental in developing collaborations with leading international artists and producing organizations dedicated to groundbreaking contemporary work, as well as contributing to the continuation and advancement of Cal Performances' commitment to excellence in classical music. Bailis was instrumental in designing many of its recent initiatives, including Berkeley RADICAL (Research and Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts and Learning), which has deepened the organization’s commitment to thematic curation and placed artists more directly in contact with the diverse audiences and communities that Cal Performances serves.
Bailis has been pivotal in developing a body of new work linked directly to UC Berkeley through major commissioning projects such as the creation of Dreamer, an oratorio by composer Jimmy López and librettist Nilo Cruz (scheduled for performances in March 2019), and the current five-year Joffrey Ballet residency and commissioning partnership, launched in 2017–18. He has welcomed and continues to foster audiences of the future through large-scale student-based initiatives including the annual student-curated Front Row program, which received over $1 million in support from The Wallace Foundation with the goal of encouraging UC Berkeley's undergraduate community to engage in hands-on collaborations in the live performing arts with guest stars and mentors including (to date) Lars Ulrich, drummer and co-founder of Metallica; author Daniel Handler; and comedian Margaret Cho. During the 2017–18 season, Bailis oversaw the production of Cal Performances' first exploratory Oakland series of performances held in unconventional and innovative venues throughout the city; the events on the series featured the work of artists from four countries, were performed in three languages, and included three companies making Cal Performances debuts in multidisciplinary arts forms.
Bailis has also played a key role in leading Cal Performances' education and community programs, activities that support enhanced artistic literacy and envision a society where all people have the tools, opportunity, and access to fully exercise their human right to engage with the cultural practices of their communities and to make meaning from all kinds of art. Cal Performances' Artistic Literacy Program is focused on increasing resources and experiences for K–12 and campus students that will encourage lives enriched by performances and artistic expression as part of daily discourse. Deeply connected to the Bay Area arts scene, Bailis has also encouraged Cal Performances to embrace the international talent that makes its home throughout the Bay Area and on the Berkeley campus.
From 2003 to 2011, Bailis was the director of ODC Theater, where he helped direct the organization's $9 million expansion of its facilities. He elevated the theater's profile from regional to national and international visibility. During this time the San Francisco Chronicle named him "MVP" in dance presentation, describing his curation as "...smart...instinctive, and infectious." He has received numerous awards in recognition of his presenting and residency programs and has served as a peer review and policy specialist for many of the nation's leading grant-making foundations, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Creative Capital, New England Foundation for the Arts, MAP Fund, Chamber Music America, WESTAF, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. A frequent public speaker on arts and culture, he has been heard at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and on NPR's West Coast Live, and has been a speaker and content provider at national conferences such as Dance USA and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. Following a three-year term, Bailis has recently stepped down as an advisor to the National Dance Project, where he is proud to have assisted more than 60 new works from generations of dance makers find the resources and partnerships necessary to move from inception to presentation. He currently serves on the board of the Alliance of Artist Communities, the national service organization for artist residencies.
An accomplished professional clarinetist, Bailis has appeared with symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, and in solo recital across the US, Canada, Asia, and the UK. He is proud to have sent students from his clarinet studio to many of the great university music programs in the US, including at UC Berkeley. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the Yale School of Music.